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Educational Differences in Marital Dissolution: Comparison of White and African American Women


School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 536 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (


Although the trend of marital dissolution has diverged by education in recent decades, literature was not clear about whether African Americans experienced a significant educational difference in marital dissolution. This study hypothesized that educational differences within the African American community have emerged and that the growth in this difference was larger for African Americans than for Whites in the 1990–1994 and 1995–1999 marriage cohorts. Using the Wave 2 Topical Modules of the 2001, 2004, and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, this study analyzed a series of discrete time-logit models but failed to find significant evidence to support the 2 hypotheses. Similar to the experience of White women in recent years, however, the probability of marital dissolution has been on the steady decline among African Americans regardless of their educational attainment since the 1990s.